Vocational Rehabilitation


This program will prepare students for the field of rehabilitation by learning how to help people with disabilities optimize their vocational potential using counseling techniques and vocational evaluation. Disabilities include persons with physical, mental or social disabilities and range from mental illness, mental retardation, blindness, deafness, alcoholism, epilepsy, and criminal offenses. Core classes emphasis the history, philosophy and development of rehabilitation, while students can pursue six areas of concentration. 

Students can concentrate their studies in these areas: 

  • Independent Living Rehabilitation » Learn to deal with the critical issues confronting individuals with disabilities in order to help them live more independently.
  • Individualized » Limited to students whose educational goals cannot be met by available concentrations. Students who select this option must develop, with advice and consent of their faculty advisor, a list of 22 credits that have a cohesive and logical relationship to the rehabilitation field.
  • Psychiatric Rehabilitation » Work in community-based rehabilitation programs or residential programs serving individuals with long-term mental illness.
  • Rehabilitation Service Specialist » Develop counseling skills for positions within the rehabilitation field.
  • Social Work » Learn to provide various services to aid the disadvantaged and aged and to improve the welfare of children.
  • Substance Abuse Counseling » Prepare for Substance Abuse Counselor licensure, and work in providing services in treatment programs, criminal justice, residential or community-based settings.

High School Preparation

  • General admissions criteria

  • Experience working/volunteering with people with disabilities, such as tutoring special education students, volunteering in community work
  • Involvement in organizations such as ARC (an advocacy group for persons with mental retardation)


  • Work experience coordinator
  • Behavioral specialist
  • Employment counselor
  • Rehabilitation specialist
  • Probation/parole officer
  • Community corrections counselor
  • Juvenile justice case coordinator
  • Independent living coordinator
  • Case manager/social worker
  • Residential counselor
  • Community-based specialist
  • Activities program director
  • Vocational evaluator

Average beginning salary for UW-Stout graduates in this major — $34,000
98% employed in 2012–2013

View our Annual Employment Report for more details.

Explore Your Courses:

» Sample Freshman Schedule

Freshman English – Composition or Freshman English – Honors I
Human Biology
General Psychology
Introduction to Rehabilitation
Fundamentals of Speech

Freshman English – Reading or Freshman English – Honors II
Math general education
Physiology of Disability
Arts and Humanities general education
Community Resources

See our Undergraduate Bulletin for more information on these courses.

» Courses You May Take in the Major

Introduction to Rehabilitation
An introduction to serving people with disabilities. Philosophy, history, legislation, concepts and processes, and careers in rehabilitation services.

Community-Based Rehabilitation Services
An examination of national priorities for community-based services designed to enhance competitive employment options for severely disabled persons.

Sign Language I
Basic course in manual communication with persons who are deaf. Intensive practice in expressive and receptive communication.

Rehabilitation and Criminal Justice
Criminal justice system: Process and individual rights. Crime data and criminal law, policing, adjudication. Process roles of corrections and professionals. Disability: Demographics, issues and responses.

Rehabilitation and Chemical Dependency
Chemical use and abuse with emphasis on the rehabilitation of persons who are chemically dependent and the historical and sociological implications of drug usage.

Rehabilitation of Public Offenders
Emphasis on programs designed to rehabilitate persons who are public offenders and sociological issues connected with the judicial system.

Psychiatric Rehabilitation
Goals and processes of psychiatric rehabilitation. Knowledge and application of skills for integrating diagnosis into planning and intervention with a focus on rehabilitation services for individuals with long-term mental illness in community-based settings.

Adolescent Substance Use and Abuse
Major concepts, current trends, and culturally sensitive approaches in the assessment, prevention and treatment of adolescent alcohol and drug addiction.

Forensics for the Human Service Professional
Terminology and practices associated with forensic for human service professionals. Strategies and materials related to preparation for testimony and expert witness testimony in a court of law and other legal settings.

Vocational Counseling Issues
Theoretical and applied approaches to vocational counseling and current research in vocational choice and career development as related to vocational counseling.


See our Undergraduate Bulletin for more information on these courses.


Program Video

Request More Information

Contact Information

Kyle Kleist, Program Director
250E Vocational Rehabilitation Building
University of Wisconsin-Stout
Menomonie, WI 54751-0790

Phone: 715/232-2490
E-Mail: kleistk@uwstout.edu

Program Website

Related Majors

If you are interested in this major, you might also be interested in: